Tuesday, January 01, 2008

The way we celebrate

By Capt. Fogg

Most newspapers today have pictures of big-city fireworks around the world. One might be tempted to think this is the way people all over the vastness of the United States celebrate, but they would be wrong. In Chicago, where I used to live for many years, private ownership of fireworks is looked upon with horror and fear. If one is caught driving into Illinois with fireworks purchased in more liberal States, there is a risk of having the car confiscated on top of heavy fines or worse. Public displays are pretty much limited to July 4th. Who wants to risk hypothermia?

Here in small town Florida, where the local fireworks supermarket does a brisk business this time of year, the warm night sky was filled with brilliant color from countless back yard rocket launches, and the barrage of firecrackers along with the occasional blast from the family shotgun made it hard to watch the safe and sanitary display of colored light emitting diodes from Times Square.

Florida is a big state with a variety of cultures. The locals here are very proud of their Christian affiliations and would love to see a bible based legal and educational system, but down in Key West last night, thousands of inebriates of all persuasions and levels of undress were out in the street at midnight to watch Sushi, a drag queen of some local prominence being lowered from a Duval Street balcony in a high heeled ruby slipper.

Of course since my town has suffered a great deal more of God's wrath lately than has the island home of debauchery, one might speculate that diversity is really not so dangerous and perhaps even that governments have better things to be concerned about than sparklers and firecrackers, but one way or another we and most of the world seem to have survived not only New Years Eve but the year 2007 itself. Who knows what 2008 will bring, but as the old song goes: I've been down so long, it looks like up to me.

Happy New Year!

Cross posted from The Impolitic

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